Monday, May 28, 2012

An Incident in The Atrium Mall's Iloilo Supermarket Regarding Laptop Backpacks

WARNING: I probably sound like a ranter in this post.

One of The Atrium Mall's Entrances
This was the first time my laptop backpack was not allowed into the grocery store. After multiple entries in different Iloilo Supermarts bringing this knapsack with my lappy safe and sound, a security guard (a young Mr. Lasanas) stops us in our tracks saying the backpack is not allowed inside the grocery.  Of course, I've read the rules and am willing to comply, but the fact is THE MOMENT YOU LEAVE YOUR STUFF IN THE BAGGAGE COUNTER, YOU'VE WAIVED YOUR CLAIM FOR ANY DAMAGES IT MIGHT INCUR.

I was shocked but not fully confrontational during that time. I told him that if he could assure me that my gadget was safe, I'll entrust that with them. But then Mr. Lasanas says, "Just take out the laptop and bring it with you in the grocery." It was one of those YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! moments. Why would I do that? Am I that stupid? There's a reason laptops aren't carried in ordinary bags. Imagine the following scenarios.

Scenario 1: I carry the laptop in my arms while I do my shopping. Okay... I'll just pretend I didn't hear that. Count the loud thud of the laptop dropping from my arms the moment it slips out of my grip.

Scenario 2: I put the bare laptop (without any kind of protection) in the grocery basket while I do my shopping. Aside from the crowds I have to maneuver my way through, I have to be careful not to place anything wet or heavy on top of it.

Scenario 3: I use the giant stroller to carry my laptop while I go through aisle after aisle getting the stuff I need. Sure, that sounds safe... until you hear someone bumping into your cart accidentally. With enough impact, there goes your hard drive.

Since it was my boyfriend who decided to talk to them, he went to the baggage counter where their so called "head of security" (Mr. Regene Gepana) was saying that it was part of their policy to not allow laptop backpacks inside. He even claims that he is the "head of security" in all the Iloilo Supermarts which sounded a little far-fetched especially when my laptop backpack has already entered the Molo and Villa branches of this said grocery chain without a fuss.

Mr. Regene Gepana laughs annoyingly upon seeing me take a shot of Mr. Lasanas, the security guard who told us to remove the laptop from the bag and carry it with us while I do my grocery shopping.
With all due respect to the age-old policy, electronic gadgets and important personal belongings should be secured and carried with you (but what about laptops? or CPUs? or God-forbid two laptops?). How I wish my laptop was as small, thin and light-weight as an envelope of 1,000 peso bills. Or at the least, as big as a tablet so it could fit perfectly in my purse.

Now, you must be wondering why in the world would I be bringing my laptop in a crowded grocery store? Well, for starters, I'm trying to save on fare and time by multi-tasking on a Monday. I had dropped by a friend who was helping me fix these BSOD issues I've been having.

From this day forward, this laptop backpack is banned from entering The Atrium Mall's Iloilo Supermart.
Anyway, to cut things short, my beau finally asked to talk to the manager. Mr. Regene Gepana never gave us the name of the manager, or whoever was in charge of the grocery store... which I'm assuming would probably be a Que.

Finally, my beau called me saying that he wasn't able to follow me inside because in order for him to get in, he had to take the laptop out of the backpack (surrender the bag in the baggage area) and carry it with him all throughout the grocery store. I proceeded with finishing up my purchases and met him outside. Of course, I couldn't allow to  leave this undocumented so I took some pictures and names.

Just to make things clear, I am not mad at Mr. Lasanas nor at Mr. Regene Gepana. I am, however, dismayed on the treatment of laptop backpack users who go into the grocery store. What if I'd been alone? In order for me to accomplish my shopping list, I had to take my laptop out of my backpack and carry it with me throughout my entire grocery ritual?

Moral of the Story: 

1. Don't bring your laptop backpack to The Atrium if you're to enter Iloilo Supermart. Moreover, if you're going to the grocery store, leave the laptop behind.

2. Don't raise your voice or be rude to Iloilo Supermart security guards if they stop you. They're just following orders. In fact, some of the guards there are actually nice. It's nothing personal.

Would you believe that I didn't raise my voice or scream at them the entire time we had this discussion? I didn't go Claudine Barretto- Santiago on them because that certainly isn't right.

3. If they tell you it's according to the policy, be sure to ask them to show the policy to you.

4. If you think the person talking to you isn't taking you seriously, demand for their manager NICELY.


  1. Sometimes, security personnel should move on towards the 21st century. They should already recognize that a lot of people nowadays are carrying laptops and tablets with them wherever they go, so they should adjust their security policies accordingly.

    I would love to try this and see if they, too, will ban me from entering the grocery section if I bring my laptop backpack with me :)

    1. Thanks for dropping by. I know what you mean. Maybe if I were swinging some car keys or looking extremely well-to-do or wealthy, the treatment would be different. But that's just a guess, the treatment may also be the same.

      Anyway, I totally agree. They should try to make a new policy for laptops and tablet users. I'm willing to submit my backpack for inspection before and after going into the grocery, if need be.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts.